True Colours

Hey Readers On day 18 of NaPoWriMo I cover the topics of
football and identity and nowhere is football used as a badge of identity more than Glasgow and West of Scotland when Celtic play Rangers. To say this game is explosive is I think putting it politely. The contrast between the two supports couldn’t be greater, Celtic the club of the Irish-Scots, the club of the diaspora  against Rangers the club of the establishment whose support base comes mainly from those with what can at best be described as an Anglo-Scottish unionist mentality. Now before anyone asks, I have got a bias when it comes to this game and that bias is very much in favour of Celtic. It is I think safe to say, that as neutral as I’ve tried to be, that bias will to some extent at least come through in this poem which I have titled True Colours I hope you enjoy the read.

True Colours

A game neither side likes to lose  divides a city in two
us against them
green versus blue
as true colours are displayed
this is war with football as the battlefield
there is nowhere to hide
in a game played with passion and pride
the fans demand no less
tribal loyalties sung from the heart
the songs kick off before the game
they taunt us for being immigrants
children of another nation
yet can’t see the irony
that they who believe in inbuilt superiority
voted to remain a colony
when the question was asked
whilst many of us said
take it down from the mast
this flag of an unequal union
we come from different places
my green represents the culturally oppressed
whilst those in scarves of blue
chant simply the best
and songs about walls of division
loyal to a united kingdom that mocks their loyalty
royalty will never fear
losing their privileges
whilst these guardians of Britishness
sing their praises
yet can’t put food on the table
this is not your average game
despite what some may claim
this is a culture clash
the symbols of shamrock and sash explain why
this matters
not just for the bragging rights or the banter
this is a war of identities
Celtic creative, unbowed
the Irish-Scot plays to win and please the crowd
with flair and immigration
the pride of free nations
against crude Britannia’s
child of conformity
who dreams of glory
but settles for poverty
as long as they are in it together
for Rangers Ulster and Westminster
this is yesterday’s wars and tomorrow’s aspirations
played out on a football field
the fans refuse to yield
and the players in both teams
must never give an inch
it matters who wins this game
it matters not what the score was
or how the game was won
but believe me it matters
to the fans who know
what it’s like to lose
Celtic view or Rangers news
it matters and it always will

@ Gayle Smith 2016 

NB. This poem was written on day 18 but I was unable to post until now as my phone needed to be charged


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